Stuck Lucky - Stuck Lucky (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Stuck Lucky

Stuck Lucky (2016)

Community Records

By now, most of you know what I like. Classic punk, hardcore, crossover and thrash are what turn my crank. I’m pretty old and set in my ways, but I really do try to keep an open mind. Sometimes it’s good for me to step out of my comfort zone and check out something different. Stuck Lucky certainly qualifies as outside of my normal listening. The Nashville based quintet has actually been around for more than a decade, and has a fairly impressive discography. Stuck Lucky is the band’s 4th full length album, and also happens to be my first exposure to them.

Stuck Lucky’s sound is fairly hard to pin down. I guess the most obvious thing to call them is a ska band. There’s definitely lots of ska, and plenty of punk and thrash too. I might be tempted to say that they’re the Southern version of Crack Rock Steady. They play fast, frantic ska-punk delivered with the utmost urgency. It’s guitar, bass, trombone and driving drums. The lead vocals are mostly delivered in a raspy shout, while the backing vocals are of the sing along variety. What you won’t hear is any of the country twang that’s normally associated with almost everything from Nashville.

Two upbeat tracks, “Fear Drunk” and “Ever So Gently”, open the album. “Light In the Dark” has a legitimate thrash riff buried amongst the horn hooks and upstrokes. “Isolato” and “The Tilt” might be the catchiest songs on the record. A lot of the lyrics on Stuck Lucky are really dark, and stand in stark contrast to the mostly optimistic sounding music. “Masking” and “Face Down In a World of Shit” are good examples of this. The lyrics are also more personal than political, and tend to be quite clever. “Interlude” is definitely the strangest track here, and it works to give the listener a little break. It’s somber and piano driven with with some creepy spoken word and backward sample stuff going on. “At the Seams” is a cover of another band I’ve never heard of called Las Cabriolas.

Stuck Lucky appropriately wraps up their self-titled album with the break-up song “Wish You Worst”. In total, it’s a dozen songs in a little over a half hour. As I previously admitted, I don’t have a lot of things in my record collection to compare this to. That being said, I think this is a compelling set of songs. It has an undeniable nervous energy that I enjoy. For me, it brings to mind the jazz clubs of the 1950’s that Jack Kerouac described in On the Road. You can almost smell the cigarette smoke and stale beer, and the sweat of five guys playing their hearts out.